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republicans in congress compromise or remained firm? nationally, a small amount of that group believes compromises necessary than the presidents coalition. so within this, this great difference of opinion in terms of what he could compromise is, or what you should compromise on, there is this real energy around compromise. thinking about for years from now, the end of president obama's second term, i've had time to you think the country's economy will improve? 51% say it will improve. economic well being of the middle class -- catch up with my slides. there we go. the deficit and debt will improve as 34%. but the one thing they are certain is that taxes will increase. and in the next four years how it affected you think the
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federal government will be on each of the following issues. we read a list of these issues, we rotated those. this is how it basically stacks up. ensuring long-term future of entire programs such as social security and medicare, 65%. 64% creating jobs, 64% improving public education, growing the economy, creating a business environment that allows for innovation. lowering the federal deficit actually false down to 40. not as much confidence there as a part on the other side. we been said the training faces a number of challenges including but not limited to large budget deficits, national debt, slower economic recovery, high unemployment, deep political divide on many issues. do you believe we will overcome these challenges in the
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foreseeable future as we've done in the past, or do you think these are unique set of challenges that are so serious that we might not be able to overcome those challenges? two-thirds of voters, 67%, say we will be able to do that. 31% have concerns about it. look at the bars across the bottom. the ones like younger voters, 18-29, confident we'll get there. african-american voters, 85%. hispanics 66. and those are the fundamentals of the democratic party, 85% of democrats saying it will improve. in which of the following closest to coming to think the president should take, short-term, long-term? a vision and approach focusing on long-term goals for the future of our country or a practical approach addressing our near-term challenges? by 55-40 you see people wanting the longer-term visionary
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approach but it's an interesting if you look across the bottom of the different groups, most popular with the young, 63%. most popular with african-americans, hispanics, and again democrats safety 5%. this is an opportunity for longer-term, real energy with certainty, both seconds. despite the looming fiscal cliff, americans are focused as we say, on the to do list. what do you consider of a most pressing economic issues facing the united states today, jobs and unemployment far and away number one, 30%. followed by government spending, budget deficit at 15. then back to wages at 11. so 41% saying either wages or unemployment, and then you see the government spending peace. if you look at how this breaks out by republican and democrat,
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independent, independent and -- they rank jobs higher than wages. if you look at republicans they rank spending as a deficit. when you go back to this idea of compromise what are you compromising about? these are very tricky times in terms of creating a working coalition on that issue. compromise, consider the economic challenges facing the country, which of the following actions do you believe do most of the country improve over the next couple of years? we read three separate approaches to this. number one was growing the economy and creating jobs. even to investments, even if that means continued deficits and tax increases. that was never one with 43%. most popular with democrats. growing the economy and creating jobs, tax cuts. even if that means continued
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deficits and cuts to services that was the second choice of 29%. most popular with republicans at 42, and training, reducing the federal deficit even if it means both tax increases and cuts to services, least popular and that was across the board with democrats, independents and republicans. >> thinking about some other actions that could be taken, which of the following which he believed would do the most to improve the country over the long term, say, the next 10 to 20 years, that longer horizon. interesting here, making education more affordable, acceptable and rub it to today's job market number one. 30%. then, promoting american manufacturing and industrial innovation at 17. providing and since to help people start their own business, 15. but this education issue, if you look at the box on the left
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again, the education piece is most important among democrats and independents, eliminating the deficit, most important with republicans. so again, while there is a clear winner on this, who supports it, it's everyone. then we asked people a question, we asked two questions, what about the top priority in washington and then the top priorities for you. washington, d.c. this ranking. debt and deficit followed by social security, good paying jobs, education, the top four as you go down on a scale of one to 10. so look at this as sort of a statutory if you will, the number one ranks as number one. easy deficit and debt interest to enough, 18-20. also those over 50, independents, republicans and by
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white households. if you look at the number ones on education, cost and outcomes of that, they are number one for democrats, americans and hispanics. found in our research, support particularly among the minority community, access to securing their own economic security. we've been asked that same question about not washington, but you. women ask it about you, what's most important it's about social security and medicare number one, followed by being able to comfortably retire, number two. cost of health care, number three. price of energy, energy being gasoline, natural gas and home heating fuels. and then education follows that. so when you move away from what washington, to what i'm most concerned about, this is the to do list people are very interested in. looking at that graph, the ones
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the most important, social security and medicare, most important of those over 50, democrats and independents, white households and then you look down and interestingly education, affordability and outcomes number one, young, 18-29 african-americans and hispanics. finally, we asked people, and when it comes to getting country's finances under control, how effective do you think each of the following would be at reducing the debt, reducing the deficit, cutting the national debt? what would be effective? increasing taxes to american families making over $250,000 a year was the number one response at 76%. reducing taxes to spur economic growth and jobs 73%. reducing spending on military and national defense, number three. increasing taxes on all
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americans. majority of americans, reducing spending on programs that benefit the poor like medicare and welfare, that's at 51. reducing spending on programs that benefit the elderly like social security and medicare, only at 34. so as you can see again, compromise is an interesting issue. it becomes very, very complicated. so that's a quick snapshot of this survey. [inaudible] ron has done that also. that is coming up, and thank you very much. [applause]
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>> [inaudible] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i am 25. this is my third year out of college and i'm on my third job. >> i'm semi-retarded. i've always been a salesman multinational corporations, also a stockbroker. and now i'm selling language programs that is family-owned and run, working a small company is great spent my name is jason. i'm a real estate agent and an
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investor. >> and i am case manager and also -- spent my name is rod rodriguez. i consider myself leigh keno. born in cuba. when i came to america i was eight years old. really, right now my hobby is my children. >> concerned that we all have is growing the economy. generally act like the country is on the right track. from a real estate standpoint, i've seen an increase in home sales. >> every job that i've had has been through a contact of mine but that doesn't mean i haven't had to look really hard. >> i have a 24/7 job. i work pretty much, i work all different hours. >> i think we need to be creating more jobs in this country. i feel that when i was going up, the biggest thing in this bunch was the manufacturing base. i just don't see that anymore. >> i'm trying to obtain my masters, and i can get a loan without the interest. to make it more affordable, more
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meaningful. that's my biggest thing. and i am worried about going to grad school, paying a lot of money for it and then getting out and being in debt. that's very scary. >> that needs to be a solution to the affordable health care. >> i hope that the costs come down so this is not a choice between groceries, rent, or a checkout spent it it would be good for the government to pay for people who can't afford on their own, or they may not be seen through the company that they work for. >> the politicians, again this goes across both sides of the aisle, can't put a finger in one party or the other. each time they fiddled we have a lot of unintended consequences. things kind of become worse. >> what concerns me most about social security is that i may not see it spent for social security and medicare a deeply the government -- they should
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focus more the energy. >> my own retirement, i kin kinf take a little bit of a deep breath. >> we don't respect our seniors. we should really provide for their retirement. >> at the top of the to do list for america, education to help create jobs. >> health care. >> health care definitely. spent if i could hand this administration a to do is, it would be, number one, grow the economy. >> i believe we are on the wrong track spent i think you should be more attention into small business. >> we've all heard about this fiscal cliff. that's the convergence of higher tax rates and, of course, all the spending. >> both parties, democrats and the republicans need to come together. >> the our three branches of government, and congress, and the president are equal. and pretty much neither one has
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the right position for the country. >> i know that america is going to be a great country again. and that will fix the problems we have at home, and bring together the two parties that are dividing the country, and fighting for different things. i know that this is going to happen. >> we're only going to get out of this together. we're not going to get out of it as a democrat. we're not going to get out of it as republican. we're going to get out of it as an american. >> thank you, ed. thank you, joan. we're going to get on with a program right now. let the introduce the moderator of that program, ron brownstein. on its editorial director of the "national journal," which means he oversees all the little coverage coming out of our company. he writes a weekly column for "national journal." is regularly on cnn and major
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cable networks. the realnetworks. and he is one of the most astute analysts i think in washington. we've had a couple of changes in the program. gene sperling who is -- could not make it today. a barely there something going on right now which is productive. maybe not. but we do have congresswoman allyson schwartz from pennsylvania who has served on the ways and means committee in the house and now budget committee and she is in this violent we have going on. >> as i mentioned, may or may not be good news on the fiscal front. i would just as with way of introduction i'm hoping this as a less -- last week i was in
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hartford -- harbored. we were in the middle of discussing the general election and when all the power went out. we're hoping it isn't quite as difficult as one. we are sorry jeanne could be with us but we're fortunate to have represented schwarz with as representing a dish in philadelphia, and urban philadelphia, vice ranking democratic member on the committee on the ways and means committee. i want to have a conversation, that reflects kind of the dual nature of the to do list that the public can send it in the pulpit on the one hand when you ask them the most immediate challenge in washington today, with the most wanted ashington to do, they to talk about deficit or the debt, getting the fiscal house in order. but that is not the full extent. right behind that is education, retirement, good paying jobs with very different by the way, talk about priorities along partisan and racial lines.
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let's start with where we are and where the public not surprisingly is on the question of solving the immediate fiscal cliff decision. how would you describe your feeling that there will be some kind of accommodation deals these on the tax or the spending side, or both? >> first of all, good morning. and just, i'm not gene sperling. but i'm very pleased to give you my perspective on where we are. and let me just say, hearing some of the poll video here, the beginning of the question, i will start by something that i often say when i'm giving remarks, that i'm struck with in my district, i hope many of us are, having a swing district in the suburbs of philadelphia, people in the same group, no matter how partisan they are
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more have nonpartisan the group is, they will say to differ quite a stupid pills and i want you to go to washington and i want you to stand on defenseless but i don't want you to give an inch. values matter, our priorities matter. i want you to go and fight for us. i will. then someone else will get up and say, i want you to compromise, i want you to find a middle ground, i want you to get these done. that's the 10th time this happened to me. i thought that's exactly what they hired me to do. is figure out how we do both of those things. those are our jobs as representatives is to fight for our priorities, and the principles we believe in. and still get something done. so it leads me to where we are right now, which is the divide we're facing right now, i hope that both parties, all represented understand we have pretty serious challenges, we created a moment in time where
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we have three major fiscal and tactical -- [inaudible] we need to face up to them. we need to make decisions about how we're going to move forward. the democratic position on this, the president could have not been more clear in the election. elections matter. he was reelected, strongly. we picked up seats in the house but we picked up seats, democrats of course. that should mean something, and it does. our principles are that we're willing to do spending cuts. we did do a trillion dollars in spending cuts. we will talk more about that, but that we need, there's no math that adds up that gets us to dealing with reducing the deficit, potentially getting to be able to get down the debt, put ourselves on a sustainable path going forward. i do think we should do all those things. we have some big challenges to
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grow the economy but there's real differences. >> secretary geithner said this week as directly as anyone has done, that the administration absolutely was willing to let higher taxes expire rather than agree to anything to lower bush-era tax rates for those for the top. will the house democrats have his back on that? is that the comment position or maybe even a uniform position for house democrats if it comes to that? >> we will go to the mat on the. there's no question we are with the president on where we stand on this. we think the revenue from the top 2% -- you on notice. it's a marginal rate. every american is going to get a tax break on the first $250,000 of income. even multimillionaires will get the first $250,000, tax cuts. so the benefits to all americans. we are not asking that much. from our wealthiest 2% of
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americans. we're asking for%. we're not asking, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50%. it doesn't solve all our problems. it's just the beginning. so we are still stalling about that, is that with the american people have said okay, no one wants their taxes going up but we understand we're in a tough fiscal challenge, and it's important to get new revenues in as well as spending cuts. i think that we, we work to not let this go over the cliff. i think we do it because what i did it because it's the right policy to not let it happen, but we also, the economy and americans and investors and consumers -- >> that's the question. you believe the economy -- that's what, okay, goes to a little bit. do you believe the economy could withstand the effect of allowing bush tax cuts to expire for all
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americans? >> well, i think, again, you know that's not all the discussion. the fiscal cliff, the amt, they would affect 27 million american families, a lot of taxpayers who aren't supposed to have amt. or other parts of this. so i think when you about the concern, it's not actually really the tax break. i don't buy that at all. i don't think we, we need to increase tax rates. spent if you go over on the tax rates go up on everyone and amt and the dividend and capital gains, all of that -- >> again, i don't think we should do. i think we should dissolve this but i think that, it depends on whether they do something about in the next month or two after that. we set ourselves up on a path to do something in 30 or 60 days, or 90 days.
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i just think people don't believe are going to unless we do something. so that's my worry is part of your work as well. >> the broader concerns to the public. as part of that second stage perhaps, does the top rate have to end at 39.6 ?-que?-que x on the way you can envision democrats setting something between 35% and 39.6 if it was coupled with a reduction, the ability of the people at the top to take certain deductions? >> i don't want to second-guess what we might decide. i just think we go to 39%. i don't think that's what we should do beijing right now. there's issues around capital gains. there's issues around what deductions, that's a different, that's the discretion to out of it should be instead of. spent fuming in addition to? >> in addition to, right. so having that debate right now
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suggests that what i just said, is that that's all we have to do is find that and then we are done. which i do most people who know over 10 years we need to do more than that if we're serious about the deficit reduction. so where do we get it. we know we get from spending cuts. we do believe there needs to be hard revenues coming in. and yes, there has to be some investment for economic growth. and we need to do that in a way that strengthens the middle class. how we make investments, how we deal with all the families who are in the few who are worried about debt and higher education. spent one last question on the tax side. on the tax side as part of the ultimate solution do you think the gap in a way works, investment, capital gains,
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differential and the rate, doesn't have to narrow? >> i think so, yes. at least from 15 to 20%, and more. so many retirees rely on the. that's something we've got to look at. i think is more concerned about it. yes, i think that differential is one of the reasons that very, very wealthy americans pay so little. mitt romney being one of them. he paid the taxes -- he thought it was fine to pay 50%. i don't know about you but i didn't think it was so great. if you get a check come you get a salary, i think it's an issue spent the other side of the ledger, they've never released a napkin, but all indications were that last summer the president speaker boehner were having a secret negotiations about the budget.
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at the white house was willing to consider raising the eligibility age on medicare, and changing the way cost-of-living adjustments in social security. those two ideas, as you said was that an election, should those two ideas still be on the table now that the president and speaker are entering to go? >> when it comes to medicare and medicaid and social security, and many of us have dealt with it, it's not part of the budget discussions specifically so it doesn't have to be done right now and it's not as much risk, we can deal with and wished. but but when it comes to medicare and medicaid and health care generally, i think that we start on medicare, making sure we're committed to medicare. as a promise would make your seniors. not just current seniors the future seemed even 54-year-olds, even 44-year-olds, 34-year-olds. it is something we start with that promise to keep the
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universal and keep benefits. once we make a decision that we're not going to shift costs to individuals or shift costs, we have to really focus on how to continue a rate of growth in health care, broadly speaking medicare is great. way to do that. for seniors but also affects the entire system, so from private countries individuals. we are trying to do that. i feel very strongly towards equality and peace in the fee-for-service but to do that, we've got to do that sooner than later, get itself on her path has to. get those dollars sooner. in those discussions that are other ways that we can have revenue coming in, from within the health care system. i think that's on the table. i'm not for increasing age on
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medicare because they said they didn't find ways to of all americans have health insurance. now taking a group of people come a group of americans you've got to figure out how do they afford health care. we've got to do something about the so that shifts the cost of subsidies, doesn't make it more expensive for for younger people, because -- doesn't make it -- ivanek. >> exactly. these are the least expensive seniors we have. most expensive seniors are much older. i think you have to really look at -- you have to reload at the. if you look at the consequences whether that's really cost savings, even for governmengovernmen t or for families. >> one final question then it broader agenda. in the media, the president had a very firm statement about the debt ceiling where he said i
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will not play that game, meaning he will not negotiate for the condition on raising the debt ceiling. how is that going to work, unless that is part of the agreement? does not need to be part of any agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff? >> i think it should be. this is serious business. we get questions all the time what's the deal going to be, really isn't a game nor is it the deal. serious fiscal and tax policy, about the economic future of our country, about the great country will live in and continue to be the greatest country and economy in the world. and we have different opinions about that. i'm with the president on this one. we saw what happened to economies on response in the market when the republicans were willing to go off the cliff. the republicans are saying it now, not pay our debt, not pay are full, jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states. this is not a game. it is serious business.
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we don't pay our bills, we don't pay our debt, the interest rates go up and it will be harder to borrow. it's not where you make a decision about spending and about the budget. we've already made those decisions. this is about paying the bills. we are not happy about it, we shouldn't be. the debt is serious in this country. we have to get the deficit under control and get spending down. the president is right, this is not taking. this is serious. the last thing we want to do is what is an economic recovery but is still a platform to we want to keep -- we cannot go back to threatening consumer investments, or having government failed to meet basic obligations spent let's start moving -- a good place to start is your view on the impact it up if you're able to reach some kind of agreement, both to avoid the fiscal cliff and set the process that would reduce the
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4 trillion for long-term deficit reduction on both sides talking about, how big of a deal do you think it would be for congress? does it matter one way or another as for accelerating growth? >> personal, it would -- [inaudible] just lower taxes for wealthy americans, we will be fine. over a decade, we are not find. on we're not better than fine. we really want to grow this economy system. that means making some of these choices, making tough choices and making them not just for now but for the future. getting fat, those spending cuts, trillion dollars, how do we do that in a way that is agreed to and we can get done and we don't walk, dial it back. and secondly that we do raise revenue, and making the investments that assure economic preparedness what we retain our commitment to our seniors. so i think it actually is cheekily important message both
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to americans as individuals, government can function, we can make tough decisions and we make decisions that benefit the middle class. that's what's made our country great. you've heard we are great americans, we have to make some decisions here, move us forward. we want to be innovative and trendsetting but it doesn't just happen to a lot of that comes from the kind of investment made in education, in the way we do our tax policy, growth areas energy. are we innovative in manufacturing, advanced manufacturing. these are things you could do. the tax credits our old. we can get rid of them. i think it's hugely important to we know there are a lot of companies that are sitting on millions of dollars, billions of dollars just waiting for the right moment.
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end up wanting to start spending, we have to make our decisions, it will not be good enough if we don't deal with the larger questions and give them some certainty. i would say some of my concerns, you mentioned when some of the talks happen before, republicans dig their heels in and say, jenny, it is our policy or nothing. then they get to say, see, i told you. we've got to reach an agreement. this is a long-term solution. >> you have been doing an exemplary job. i don't know how you are doing this, because -- >> there is a natural flow here in a way. >> as i said, when we poll people about what is the to do list for washington, the debt and deficit number and deficit and won both are close behind, was a series of other concerns. datasets osha and medicare, good
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paying jobs, education system going cost and workforce preparedness. so when you look at, and, in fact, when ed sure, it's a passing question, what are the actions we take out of the biggest there for the next 10 or 20 years, eliminate the debt, and deficit ranked only fifth out of six. so for others people other things are more important. promoting manufacturing, promoting entrepreneurship. so what's a short-term fiscal cliff deal and longer-term budget, what does that come how does it have to be structured in your view in a way that will put us in a position to deal with these other things? >> short term it's the issue of the sequester between dollars, how do we make the cut but the president is very clear about this. we should not cut access to higher education. my own state, we've seen cutting of fire education. how is that going to help pennsylvania's, or americans to build have access when attractive companies, if we
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don't have a skilled workforce. that's always been important, how do we actually -- so we need to make sure that we're helping education, our role. [inaudible] all of our schools could do better, either finest public schools. in my own district has lots of very good schools and some that are struggling. even the most on the wealthiest school districts want the federal government to help them. that starts at a very early age. access to education i don't have families and digits are earning incomes of $50,000, think about that. how do they do that? where's the income to do that? without pell grants, without the kind of loans or grants that are available. will suck to make sure that they can can we get some of our tax
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code to incentivize advanced manufacturing to go around my district again, the manufactures that are going on the ones that are doing pretty advanced manufacturing to even the most, companies that you do not do it this way, you see robotics. you see sort of quite a bit of technology, you know, to do manufacturing right now is not what it used to be. you need to have computer skills. you need to have certainly very good work skills. a lot of people need more post secondary education. i have a proposal that would give some tax credits for advanced manufacturing they're making products. other nations are doing this to the e.u. is doing it. you think it's all about competing with china but, in fact, were competing with other advanced economies, and we need to make sure that we're functioning in a global
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marketplace, both manufacturing and marketing. so we need some work to be done in making sure our tax policy really does look to the future and how we grow entrepreneur but the last thing i was is that basic investment in research, also not to be taken lightly. medical research, research on new energy resources. entrepreneur come out often of these kind of events is where we see basic research funded by the government that we take for granted. if we keep cutting that, if we're not sure about, even r&d tax credits is very important to companies. are in the tax credits retroactively, benefit companies that are doing it anyway made or to a chance. we want to do it safely we've got to make it permanent. we have to take it have to do it. >> let me come back to the entitlement issue.
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the other side, the democrats and the 19697, classifies each track of -- that goes to make it investment in both research and developer, infrastructure, education. 1969, 33.1% of federal government voted to invest to define the 31.2% individuals. today, some 40 years later, 50.6 of the federal government, half is investment and payment individuals has exactly doubled what it was. from a democratic perspective, can you sustain the programs that democrats see critical to investing in the next generation, education, or basic science, without finding ways to control the growth of entitlement spending, or even the affordable care act? >> there's a question we have quite a democratic shift
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happened, and it's happening not forever but the next 25 years. many of the baby boomers would like to live forever but probably not going to, even though we're going to try. you know, it is, that's our reality but with 10,000 new seniors every day, coming online every day in this country and we have fewer workers to pay into medicare, and that's an issue. so yes, we have -- we also have to understand those are a lot of seniors who we are also proposing to take it. so can we make sure the health delivery system is more efficient? yes, we can. i talk about some of the most to do that. we should demand more accountability on that. beneficiaries participate not by denying them care, denying them benefits, but by being healthier, taking up
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recommendations, following doctor recommendations. not doing too much doctor shopping. they're is responsible on each side, eating right, exercising. it's not like you're in control of all of this, so yes, we have to do everything we can to get us through this next 25 years we need to recognize that, that we're going to have a responsibility and we don't have quite enough workers to do that. so that's one of the reasons we have to look at the revenue side. we have to look at the cost side. spent so far from even looking at looking at the budget talks, the whole focus has been on discretionary spending, entitlement, what is already constrained or reduced it in your mind, what is going to take to have a resolution that is generationally fair? many of the programs, the
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democrats are most concerned about investment in the future, are probably more at risk in these talks, the next few years, then the entire program. and maybe revenue. how do you have something fester to the next-generation? >> revenue is a part of it. but we also agree making sure that we grow the economy and the people -- there are issues about wage disparity in wage stagnation over the last decade. that's serious. and the cost of health benefits. some of it is tax policy. earned income at a much higher rate on the income. so all of that matters. i.t. think the way we do it is to be sure we continue to grow. that's what it's about, about going to economic opportunity. and again, you heard some of the
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families and young people talk about how going to college, worried about their taken will they get a job but is it worth going into that kind of debt? how do we help? and how do we help make sure they get jobs, jobs that are out there quick some of this has to happen. we have to do it now. education takes a while, right? takes 12 years, higher education for years, we need to make sure that we have -- [inaudible] we need to make sure we have trained and skilled workforce. it comes back to making decisions now, that makes the right investment. talk about the investment. the president is right. we need to make investment in education, infrastructure. i mean, that makes sense for people. that's what gets people to grow the economy. that's what creates the skilled workforce.
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innovative businessebusinesse s, started this is get a little help. more established businesses. how do we get fair? first of all, when it comes to -- we need to get where we are passed now. whether we're doing basic research and whether we're funding education that people are not on -- [inaudible] we can have a serious discussion, once we get republicans -- were not going to end medicare as we know it. we made a promise to our seniors now and the future. we're not going to cut benefits, not going to make cuts, people, we're not going to shift the cost individuals for seniors and defense. we are not going to push people out of nursing homes. then winning have a series discussion of how d. create this. >> in fairness, neither premium
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support which essential to republicans budget plan, was included in what john boehner's letter to the present with their seeking. they seem to take those off the table. >> yes, i know. they talked about taking the president's -- think we can cut 400 billion out of medicare the right way hopefully, and let's have a discussion. want to make sure people get health care, chronically ill people get health care they need in both cost efficient way, that's important and that they have health coverage. but then they talk about a lot of funding cuts coming out of discretionary spending another programs we just talked about. and a lot of those are health programs fix i think it was a little bit of double if not triple hitting. >> let me talk about education because one thing that is fascinating, really through the entire 15 polls were done over
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25,000 is questioning the value of opposition and effect, higher education. we see invisible, the question most people want people -- children to go to college. growing anxiety whether it is preparing them. as you point out, enormous concern about the cost of debt associate with it, whether that is ultimately, whether the benefit justifies the cost. mathematically, right. spent the up front cost. >> we asked people what kind of the best strategy on expanding access to college, more student loans, student aid, or more pressure and penalties on colleges to slow the growth and the rate of tuition? more pressure from the federal government. as you kind of look at this, is there, is the answer more student aid, or is that in effect creating a bubble,
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country being? >> i think student aid is limited, ace limited to lower middle income. i hear sometimes over that, my kids couldn't get a pell grants. i think a lot of colleges have done an amazing job of trying to fill in the gap with loans. actually lower the cost of borrowing, pass legislation to make sure that all students are informed about federal borrowing because it's so much less expensive than private borrowing. so reducing the interest rates or you're paying much less to make sure to use all of that up before they go to private borrowing. interest in the difference, and many don't. you know, i think the notion,
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colleges have to be more affordable. i think many of us are concerned about, and we are working with our public universities. we see, community colleges really growing because it is cheaper. students taking five years, four years because they're working part-time. spent or not getting through at all is a big part of the problem. >> we have to put, push our colleges and universities to say success is graduation. >> i want to bring in the audience but you think higher education, accountability, revolution or attempted accountability d.c. -- [inaudible] >> i think we don't pay for college. we pay for basic education. we have a lot to say about the public education. taxpayers mostly local and state dollars. some coming from the federal
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government but really very, very different. >> let me bring in the audience for some questions. there is a microphone in the back. do we have any questions? do we have any questions? i have more. there's one in the back. >> good morning. my question goes back to the one that you were just talking about, college and did and that sort of thing. using for public education we pay for k-12, so if something that we should collect a lot of data on. but my question is getting to like the two-thirds of students that need remedial courses or take remedial courses once they get to college, do you think that's something that because we already supposedly paid for, we should be able to charge back school districts? how would you address that? >> i think the answer to that is what we talked about earlier when i said with to make sure k-12 education really works here and it's working at the highest
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level. and that students who graduate actually have the skills, no question about that. it's not subtle in my mind to have a high school diploma and a be able to basic skills. i think we can work backwards and take care of that in nature basic education work. of course, a member since the dropout and to have the basic literary skills they need. and what do we do about that, how do we ensure that our education system is really working? and it's working not only for the students are going to college but it's working for those who do those who go on to of the kinds of skills and jobs that don't go to college but i don't think we do this with john in this country as we should, young people, people who are older but did not have a college education i should have a way to get the train, though skills that enable them to get jobs now. so i think that's an important
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role. >> over here. >> i'm from sunshine press. i wanted to ask about your perspective looking across the aisle. the tea party seems to been in decline since they nearly forced a default on our national debt. they certainly didn't do well in the november elections. today's big story, jim demint is resigning from the senate. do you think there are enough banana republicans to force, to force obama to do with a national debt, or do you think -- [inaudible] >> go with all your suppositions, i do think, i will answer this with. i think there are a number of
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republicans, rank-and-file who have stepped up and said look, we have to be serious about revenue. we believe in a middle-class tax cut. let's start with where we agreed. that's really important to have that conversation. what you're saying is republicans and democrats have not been talking. the fact is, on the debt, well, i know most every big decision that we made in the last year, democrats -- have 100 people or more vote on this. so it's when we work together, when we are not taking our heels in -- >> do you think there are enough republicans to vote to extend, extend the debt ceiling without conditions that would allow us to avoid another full confrontation? >> let's hope so. look what happened yesterday in the senate. so interesting. senator mcconnell said okay,
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give the president the power to raise the debt ceiling, and we could stop it but we don't have to confirm it, and then took him up on it and then he said no, no. i didn't really mean it. we really would like him too many. it would be really helpful right now to provide again that certainly to the economy, but pressure has to be on the republicans to not -- just to get more -- [inaudible] we have to decide on the budget, what's the right amount of spending cuts, and the debt ceiling cannot be used as a tool and a bargaining chip. i don't think we'll get enough democrats to say we will just deal with the debt ceiling later and have that fight again. >> do you think it is bipartisan? >> i think we have to agree we will not do more, more when the
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debt ceiling comes on. definition and our economy will be held hostage. >> my name is rebecca. i wanted to ask about -- and if you think that will be extended and what the realistic outlook is for coming up with a better payment provider, kind of solution to cutting costs? >> sustainable growth rate, payments for doctors. >> thank you to spend my short answer is we will not let the cat happen, but we should pass my bill. we should pass it. the new payment innovation system under medicare. we have written it down. out of the conversation about changes. this would set us on the path. here we have agreement with republicans. particularly between a lot of the republicans, those who really care about this and understand the we need the leadership. we should not put on this.
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[inaudible] we are asking providers and doctors and hospitals, move in a different direction to embrace more coordinated care, reduce the cost the right way. we cannot have this threat of a 39% cut over their head. we should make the payment system for the future really model this effort to reduce costs in the right way. we ought to get done. >> looking forward, as you said you're optimistic because there'll be some kind of agreement -- >> i think we have to have an agreement. i think we should have an agreement. i believe we will have an agreement. i guess that's optimistic because it's just a moment in time we can find a common ground. >> beyond that, 2013, there's a lot of other things the public is concerned about. where else do you think might get to the president's desk? comprehensive immigration reform, they think that is something that could make it through both chambers? >> comprehensive taxes from
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would be useful as well spend corporate and individual? >> corporate and individual. we should deal with the sgr in a way, the delivery system reform, and i think we to comprehensive immigration reform. that would be significant to the american voters. they can't punish some people while they're helping other people. >> real quick, you're concerned about health care law, how is it going to play out in republican states moving in very different directions and really kind of in a full-scale resistance, not participating, not establishing many of them may not extend medicaid. how big a challenge is this going to be? >> we should implement this law. it's so important to american businesses. to make sure that access to affordable, meaningful health coverage. the law is written in a way
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that, and hopes the states and governors would include, we do the changes, the partnership between between the federal government and the state. have our governors be able to do this. governor christie doesn't want to do it. our own governor has declined to do it as well. that's disappointing. i do want to make sure that pennsylvanians are not, welcome disadvantaged by the decision to the federal government will have to come in and said that exchange exchange so they have access to affordable coverage. that's what this law is about. by private insurance in a way that has competition in it to reduce costs. so implementing this law is the right thing, ekstrom import but i would love to see republicans in washington come in congress and republican governors need to embrace this and let's make it work. i will use an example, under
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part d the democrats -- we do not like the way the republicans had prescription drug coverage. on medicare, we didn't like the way they did it. it didn't mean we would help to make it work. when i came into office with one form after another in the district to make sure my seniors understood how to use it, that worked for them, and that's what we have to do now. we have to have republican governors say the law of the land, i'm going to make sure that in pennsylvania, my family, my businesses have access to every advantage economically and for their health security, and it is very distressing that it might not be doing it and it might mean the state you live in will make a difference by the have access or not. so we will have to step in and make it work. [inaudible] >> we didn't get to discuss --
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if gene sperling where, but short of that this is been an incredible to work, broad horizon of domestic issues. will you join me in thanking representative allyson schwartz. >> we should get it done. thank you done. thank you very much. [applause] spent will bring up our next panel. i would encourage also to take a look in addition to the polls, the supplement that goes both to readers and the "national journal" current atlantic what you think has a terrific exploration of issues we're talking about, and the americans to do list for the next for use. we will also do a little polling i believe on your views before we start the next panel. >> thank you. i from fti consulting but as ron mentioned we're going to turn the tables around a little bit right now and ask your opinion for to questions we have lined up. one that will be taking place now and then the other one will be later in the event. and this will be able you can answer by text or twitter. so please go ahead and take out your cell phones and have your
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computers ready to go. we for a lot of interesting ideas this morning, including some very compelling survey findings, latest heartland monitor poll. one of the key findings we had was that a majority of americans regardless of who they voted for, expect d.c. officials to conquer my similar to get things done but it also expect things to get better and for america to overcome the challenges that we currently face as we always have in the past. so as my colleague loads up the twitter poll i think -- we are going to basically be asking you to textual response to the following question. how important do you think compromise between political parties will be to overcome its current challenges? we're going to ask whether you think that is extremely important, somewhat important, or not at all important.
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bear with us one moment. we will try to get a slight up for you as you take this poll. thanks very much. .. having some technical difficulties. you'll see the results after this panel.
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[inaudible conversations] >> okay. we have a little problem with the technology here. so let's get on to the panel discussion moderated by nancy cook at the national journal on the budget and taxes for us and she's quite a superstar in our company. she's going to introduce the panelists but let me say there's one change and that is ken goody
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as read be speaking instead of michael ettlinger from american progress. with that, nancy, it's all yours. >> just waiting for one more person. yes, the grand entrance. thanks so much for joining. we have agreed panel with a lot of different expertise. we have anthony carnevale, the director of the georgetown university center on education and the work force. we have karen dynan of the economic studies program at the brookings institution. we have ken goody coming in by saying it right? goode, excuse me. and then we have tom mccracken president and ceo of the small business association. i thought we would just dive right in. we talked a lot of the polling and i'm curious what aspect of the polling surprised all of you the most about what people are concerned about.
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karen, you want to start? >> sure. as a makarov economist, i would say i found the data to be somewhat cheering. we saw a little more optimism. i would like to see more optimism than that. but you know, be confident and a lot of uncertainty has been a headwind for the economy over the past several years, and i think that we should be happy that any improvements we see and consistent with poles with consumers and consumers as well. just a little more confident, and i can we really need that to support our economy going forward. you know, there's this self fulfilling cycle you can get into when it comes to confidence. people think the future is going to be better than they are more welcome to go out and spend. >> did it surprise any of you?
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>> i wasn't necessarily surprised with the optimism. people are starting to feel like it's going to get a better for them. and that's a shift - we've seen basically in the second half of last year this past year where there's been some sense that the economy is getting better, but it left people behind and now i think people are feeling like their own economic conditions over the next year or four years is going to be on the rise and that is important for people self-confidence not just a broad sense in the economy. >> a small business perspective i think that is the confidence can sort of build on itself especially for start-ups. the economy going forward is how do we get more companies to start and grow fairly rapidly. that is lacking in the economy the last few years. but - the cost sharing side of this is confidence has been on
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the rise. really since last summer, 2011, sorry, 2012, to look at that trough of confidence that came about because the budget deal. so i think we are in the midst of another situation, not terribly unlike that one where politicians could once again cause this confidence boost to reverse, and it would be tragic. >> one of the things i found interesting about the polling is i feel washington is so obsesses right now with the fiscal cliff, myself included, and what's happening with this budget showdown. yet the polling seems to indicate for most americans outside the beltway job creation and the state of the economy remains the main concern. go ahead, tom. what were you going to say? >> i think from a business perspective certainly the large
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corporations are sitting on lots of cash they are not investing right now because they want to ensure the future is going to bring not just the economic future but also the future of the tax policy and all the rest of that tied hand to hand so that is in some we keeping the economy back. we can reach some sort of a deal where we are not coming to blows every six months or a year on the tax policy for another six months. that's going to give a lot of confidence and i think create the kind of growth people say they want. i'm not so sure there is a bifurcation between what washington is focus on and what people say they want because i think all this ultimately is about jobs and economic growth. >> i did find one thing surprising and the intensity of it, and that is behind retirement programs, social security, medicare, behind the next seem to be job creation,
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deficit reduction was off the table. but what came third or fourth every time in about six questions in terms of what's on people's mind is the extent to which higher education is available, and the extent to which it is relevant to the labour market which is a different vision of higher education van is our tradition, and the other piece of it in the section of the polling was basically about the federal role the people responded seem to be saying quite loudly that the federal government should have a direct role in monitoring and driving down costs and higher education. in fact, one of two things. what i think is 43% in the theater was 41. 43 is given more money, but 41 is close behind was penalized if
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they raise their tuitions. what is interesting about this to me is it connects to a particular agenda in the congress and the administration which is to tie education funding for colleges time to completion and completion costs and labour market outcomes. a bill sponsored by senator biden and senator rubio does this in an aggressive way. i think there are a lot of people who are behind that agenda who take heart from this. >> one thing we talked about before is whether or not things the would get done in the second term economics, they would only get done if they are tied to some of the budget battles. we were talking about that previously in terms of the pell grants. is that true for the policies the president wants to enact will they only get done if they
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are part of somehow tied to these budget sites we are having? >> i don't think that's true. i think it is the last couple of years but if you look at one area of legislation which seems to have some behind it that isn't related to the budget deal - we are going to see that move in the first part of 2013. it does have a significant economic impact and it indicates if we bring 11 million into the real economy, that it could boost growth by 1.5 trillion over the next ten years. and that would be, you know, roughly about 1% of growth that we could have over that period of time which is a significant amount and i think that is high on the president's agenda and the congress is interested in doing it it won't be tied to the specifics of the budget.
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>> one of the things i noticed that the education agenda is that it will -- with a fairly stern call for accountability connects to the budget agenda that this the notion that we should build transparency and relationships between college programs and labor market outcomes is an efficiency measures. now there's also a spending issue here because every year we have to appropriate money for the pell grant which is the most visible of these. but i also noticed in political terms that this education agenda -- and it is post secondary, more so than k-12 although k-12 figures in pretty heavily to one of the questions. but what struck me was this agenda is tightly tied to african-americans and latinos which are now the core of the democratic coalition and republicans are looking and
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covering latinos for their own coalition, so i would expect that this bill is good news for pell grants because that's the program that is most visible and in symbolic terms attracts the minorities and low-income kids. but it also says that we are going to get serious about transparency and regulation of cost and outcome of higher education which is a very big deal. >> i'm happy about this optimism. [laughter] >> now you're going to bring it down. >> i'm concerned there are some critical areas that are left behind. in particular, housing. there is good news we don't talk a lot about when it comes to housing and that is housing is really affordable right now for a lot of americans. that should create access but
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the fact is we are seeing low rates of entry into the home ownership. we have seen studies suggest it is low even related to ten years ago so prior to the housing. and i think one of the key issues is lack of access to mortgage credit to the i don't think anybody wants to go back to the days of the credit boom and there was too much funding but there's just enough of anecdotal evidence the credit rating can't get loans and i think it is jury much tied to the fact our housing finance system remains in limbo. we have these institutions fannie and freddie define mortgages from the banks, and basically they're owned by the government now. everybody thinks it is a temporary situation. but, you know, nobody -- there is been no serious movement towards, you know, where should
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we go next. and i'm very worried. i think a lot of the housing experts i talked to don't think there is really any progress certainly for the next year in the sort of attention that is going to give to fiscal issues. but i do think that it's very hard for the lenders to make any kind of, like, decisions about strategies or who they are going to land to when they don't know what rules are going to be that they are going to have to face in the future. >> i share that same concern. i think politics is always about what's going to happen next, it isn't about what needs to happen to read and what is up next is deficit, at least in the beltway what's up next is deficit. apparently not with the public. i think that our political system, because it has to find consensus where it can can't chew gum and what the same time. that is you can't do the big thing like deficit reduction and
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focus in on lots of other things that require your time and attention. so, i saw in the polling what i saw was support for the short term stimulus, long-term deficit-reduction not so much, job creation a lot, and a concern about the difference between federal investment dollars or tension between the investment agenda which was largely education, and the consumption agenda which is retirement programs, social security and the medicare. all of that is real. i don't think we will grapple with that. and i don't think my own bias is we will get a piece of the deal and then we will get a deal to make a deal and we will stay in fiscal limbo as long as we can. so the business won't -- we
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won't get on with the public business for a while. >> i would like to jump in there. i am broadly in agreement with that but it's important to recognize in this discussion we're having about the deficit reduction is a major, major shift in policy that is likely to happen in the united states that hasn't occurred since 1993 and is likely we are going to get more revenue. the revenue trajectory of the united states has been going down for the last 20 years, currently as a result of tax cuts and a weak economy. the share of gdp this collected in the revenue is the lowest rate since the 1960's. and to finally reverse that trend is a major breakthrough. so yes, we are talking about deficit reduction but in the context of that, we are talking about raising the revenue to a level in which at least it begins to support the kind of investment that we need to make to train our future work force and to create an environment which we can care for the elderly. >> do you think americans will remain optimistic about the
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state of the economy, let's say six months or nine months from now if we hadn't tackled these things, if we had just talked about the cost of education, the housing markets? because we are figuring out some of the philosophical issues about taxes and spending still? >> i think the economy has been growing steadily and in the absence of any movement, which we give seen over the course of the last year. i'm not pollyanna optimist year. i've worked for ten years, so that's my sense that if there is some movement in the positive direction, which you frankly really haven't seen out of washington in a long time, that at least we are not going to have headwinds coming and if we have seen growth and optimism and confidence rise we are making some progress. >> i want to come back to what todd said earlier because i actually am concerned that
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confidence the being fragile. what happened in 2011 was the battle of the debt ceiling. we saw in late july the confidence tank, that was those believed to both house of confidence and market confidence , and i think we have to be concerned about there will be points at which we can see that happen again if we look like we are not crippling with these key challenges. what happens on generators the devotee saying it is the fiscal cliff. it was said to me last night it's not like a zombie apocalypse happens. i think in the historical sense that's right but if market confidence goes out the window either then or when the debt ceiling comes back up again, that could be very damaging for our economy. >> i think as and denney said,
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there is going to be some deal that's going to set a deadline for another deal next year. but it's really important like think that they not set up a whole series of opportunities to have that kind of collapse. if a couple nights of the apple but they need to make sure whatever they come up with less a significant period of time the question of housing to overstate especially from the smaller business startup perspective but those are companies that there will be a lot of job creation and it will grow very rapidly sometimes into large companies in a matter of a handful of years and they are not starting at the high rate at all right now. a big chunk of that is confidence.
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folks that starts the company said dhaka as a lot of financial resources. if they are looking at a value of their home and basically they are taking a risk in calculating if i fail what do i have to fall back on to read it as a crippling effect on the startup. >> i think it's great to be free hard for the legislators and political executives to screw this up. i think there's momentum. we went into a deep hole and we are coming out. when you come out of the whole the deeper the more up it feels even if it's a slow. so all of the projections are saying that we are going to get -- we have about 142 million jobs now. but 2020, most of the projections, virtually all of them are saying we will have
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about 165 million jobs. that will be 23 million new jobs, and in addition to that, we get 32 million job openings from the baby boomers' retirement. that's 55 million job openings. americans have not seen this in a while. so i think one of the interesting -- i think if there's always china, europe and the congress who can mess this up. but i think it's great to be pretty hard to stop this, to stop this recovery. we've done everything we can to do it. we can probably do it again if we try hard but i think we will succeed this time. >> that brings up a good point because you haven't talked about job creation yet which is a major concern for americans. and i am wondering, and you know, particularly for the long-term unemployed who've been left behind a little bit in the economic recovery, do you feel like the president and congress is doing enough to address that problem, and what politically
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and realistically can be done in the next four years? >> i think the president is committed to this, that he would like to see an extension of unemployment insurance, that he would like to see if possible an extension of the payroll tax cut. we have at the center for american progress we just released a 4 trillion-dollar deficit and revenue plan that calls for 400 billion in short-term stimulus. we think that there's a need for investing in infrastructure and roads in the cities and airports. we think that that has to happen sometime in the next ten, 20 years. we have a situation now with the borrowing costs in the construction industry and high unemployment and the time to do this is now. whether or not such a reasonable
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plan to make it through this political system is another question. i'm hopeful for the stimulus and the larger the deal yet of the larger the package the more revenue there is and the better the opportunity. >> on the long term unemployment i think the good news would be -- this is not a lot of good news in the situation, you know, 40 percent unemployed or anything in the previous. but i think a lot of it is still cyclical meaning if we can see the demand in the jobs will come, they will be able to hire. we should talk about what happens if this goes along that there is a serious deterioration and become structural, then in the short run i think the demand is the right thing to do. i think that can has a list of
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good suggestions and to jump on with another one, i think we need to keep interest rates low. the fed needs to continue what it's doing and we need to make sure that people can access the central streets. i think it's a big problem that, you know, there are millions of americans out there who would be able to have more money in their pockets every month to spend if they could refinance the mortgage. they haven't been able to refinance their mortgage for various reasons. so, you know, if we could fix that that is a way to fuel the economy without actually spending government money. >> the schools for small companies that want expanding it makes -- the are not doing this so called projection loans which are loans based on a sound business plan. the virtually don't exist in today's marketplace. there are some banks trying to get into that again. it used to be a staple of small business lending. a track record, a clear plan. making the record based on the ability to pursue that. it's gone. and that's -- the would be
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critical to get back into that because the same vote, the lowest rates, they can't get the loan. >> i'm curious, todd, to ask you from the small business perspective - what small businesses are coming up a lot right now as we talk about tax rates and making sure that you protect small businesses. do you feel like the tax rate issue is the most crucial issue for small businesses right now or things like financing -- >> rates are important on the small companies, but i think the most important things are having a long-term sense of permanence to the code and grapple with the tax system to simplify the code. when you look at our own polling of the small business community, yeah, they don't like paying high tax rates but they rank as a bigger concern, the burden of trying to comply with it, within byzantine tax code they had before. they've got to remember small business people for the most part pete texas of the
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individual rate. so, but they don't calculate their income at the same way that individuals do. so, they have to deal with the business side of the tax code to figure out what their income is and pay the individual tax credit and they also pay the taxes themselves. like most working americans that have a magical withholding they see the tax dollars. small-business people write that check and they see every last dime of it. the tax collectors for the federal government collect all of those from employees and send that in as well. they are the only people that really see, touch, feel, implement virtually every aspect of the tax code and that's one of the reason it's very high in their mind and agenda. >> one thing about the structurally unemployed is that there may be more hope for them this time. we've had this before. we had it especially in the 1970's. and what happened then was not good. people lost 30 to 40% of their income when we looked at them
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five years later they lost most if not all of their benefits, and that's pretty much where they stayed. or they left the labour market but that was also smaller numbers for older people. this time there is some hope that depth of the recession in manufacturing in a sense and in construction because of the tide to the housing industry and wall street that will climb out of this in a fairly robust way to read all of the job creation numbers show rapid rises in the manufacturing construction in part because whole is so deep. to some extent it is a bit of a false. it's doubtful that construction i think will go back to what it was in the 90's. because the whole thing was founded on the money from wall street. so, when those species come back at the limit the opportunity of it in the western states, and because we are more competitive on energy prices or people are saying we are going to be relatively competitive on the
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energy price components and production and transport cost, there is i think reasonable evidence that we are getting the poll. we are starting to pull more manufacturing and we may have hit bottom and a lot of manufacturing jobs that started way back in the 1970's. but, so there is some reason for hope. i think that for in the public dialogue is the although bailout so there might even be more policy there. i can imagine that if there is an aggressive policy on manufacturing and construction, which is another, construction is another word for infrastructure, and there might be some hope especially for less skilled mails -- males. >> i'm glad he mentioned energy costs because we have mirrored the political structure by getting through the discussion and not even mentioning the climate change which i think is going to be, it already is a
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major issue for the country and the will to face the over the course of the next ten years it is only going to grow in importance and significance. looking at this development boom in the potential for shale gas and oil is an opportunity and challenge. it is an opportunity for significant economic growth. it's an opportunity to move away from the fuel particularly with natural gas and maybe serve as a bridge to the renewable energy future. but it is a challenge because it does produce a significant amount of greenhouse emissions, and we need to be careful in how we dalia this resource so that we are not doing things that ten years from now will have to not only on do what will cause great danger. >> it seems like the president has made it clear climate change
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on immigration reform and getting a budget deal are the sort of key priorities for the second term and next year. i'm just wondering what's going to happen if we do not address these issues the voters say are important like job creation investment in education etc.. the president can only do so much before they start the midterm cycle again. >> well, i am hopeful that we will get some short term stimulus out of the deal, maybe again being too optimistic. but i'm hopeful that i could have been -- happen. i am struck by a the deep sense of anxiety that we see in this poll and we have heard anecdotally about the cost of higher education, and it's sustainability training system. i don't see that being tackled in a comprehensive way that
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measures up to the level of anxiety and the challenges that we face in our political system now. and a barely percolates into the agenda of what we could be seeing in the congress and the next two years. so i am concerned about that. >> i want to know if you are going to shift into the long run issues, but the education question, this is heavily not only on the short run challenge of dealing with the long-term unemployed, but you know, we've got this knee-jerk trend which is wage stagnation. the one statistic that i heard is that if you aged males earnings only inflation what have they gone anywhere in 40 years but the drop in 40 years, and i just it's not a mystery why because we have had a lot of these blue-collar jobs create
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great benefits, retirement benefits, and thanks to technology and the globalization, a lot of the shops are not are around anymore. both anthony and ken gave reasons to be optimistic but i don't think it is going to be the answer. i think the answer is going to be we've got to take those workers and get them more skills, not necessarily a four year college degree but more skills so they can take the job in the higher part of the job distribution that are being created. >> looking out to the next year but the next ten years what are the economic policies that have to be put in place according to what people say are important to them to make us competitive and also to keep the middle class as they're seems to be a huge point of anxiety for many americans making sure that they have that middle class to reach or strive
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for? >> if i get the answer to that question i probably wouldn't be sitting here right now. look, i think part of this is yes, we have new challenges that we are facing on the politics and advances in the global competition. that is creating a situation where the engine of the sustainable economic growth in the middle, the good middle class jobs are not as plentiful as they once were. ..
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>> that would get construction and housing going, that would get young people that are coming into the workforce into employment and we start seeing reasonable growth, 3%, growth. those seymour solvable. i think that we often get lost in the hard challenges of our long run future economic growth, when some of the short run challenges are not that complicated. if we were to make the kind of structure investment that we need, if we're to do the kinds of things in education and workforce training that we need to boost growth in the relative short term, our long-term challenges would become much more better. >> getting immigration reform right, especially from sort of high-tech startup respect i think is really important but if
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you look at those companies i talked about before, the new startups that grow rapidly, a fairly high percentage of them aren't darted up by individuals who are either themselves immigrants in the united states from another country, or, first or second generation immigrant. so we have come continue to have real advantage in a university system. people still want to come to the united states to get an education. we've got to make sure we keep them there because those are folks our are entrepreneurial, that's one of the keys to our success as a country, economically is because we are a nation of immigrants. people are willing to pick up and go somewhere else, are by nature more risk-taking and entrepreneurial than other people are. that's why those are things that make our country stand out in the world. we've got to continue to capture that and not just let it lie. >> i agree. growth and demand, that his job growth forgives all sins.
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it will paper over all these other problems, create a certain amount of labor scarcity. we been under producing post-secondary talent america since most people who track this say since 1983. as result of this had not stopped hiring, people simple -- simply substituting sub baccalaureate degrees and certificates for bas. i think with some success. they want more. employers want more skill output and better skill output, but in the end if the jobs are there you're in this is. >> i think the short run needs to be a part. i don't disagree with that disagree with that but i think education issues really are vast and i think the people you poll to pick up on that and it really, the poll numbers seem to be screaming those out. i just think it's just fast number of things in our to do list, talked about affordability when it comes to education. i do think there's promised to i
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think all the online stuff, these massive, open online courses hold a lot of promise but there's a lot we need to do to figure it out. it's not just affordability. we need more flexible college education, and when you to broaden opportunities through the nonuniversity crowds. so i think there's just a lot on the to do list, and we don't exactly, you know, know what needs to be done. it's not just a situation where, like in the short run where we and do what needs to be done. we just need to do it. i think we can't ignore that issue. >> just one last thing, then we're going to move to another piece of the program. let's say you're president in 2016, what's the first thing you tackle? let's go down the line. >> if it hasn't been that i think fundamental tax reform is
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really, because i think it's, it's so crucial to figure out how to unleash job growth through the right kind of tax incentives. >> climate change. i think climate change is probably not going to be resolved in the next policy and the u.s. -- am optimistic we can make progress. we're making progress by don't think we'll get a national bill to deal with climate change, so that would be top of my agenda. >> assuming the tax reform gets done, i think it's education issues. >> the first thing i would think my bias would be short-term stimulus, long-term deficit reduction, and then immigration reform. and once, if we get past all that, we could have serious conversations about other things. >> that's great. we're going to stay here and we're going to have a quick welcome from jocelyn from fti. she's going to talk to us a little bit more about the
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polling, the audience polling. she's coming. great. spent then was would do the polling will take questions from the audience. >> aecom everybody. thanks again for being here, and thanks for doing with her technical difficulty. hopefully we are in the click a. so as you can see this is the first poll question that i mentioned, so again, phones and computers at the ready. you can either text or twitch responses to this question. and the first question, as you can see, as you heard ed reilly speaker, a majority of americans support both parties coming together to find solutions to our nation's challenges, and they think that we will, in fact, overcome these obstacles as we have in the past. so now we can turn to you and ask how important do you think compromise is? we scroll over to the next slide. there we go.
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that has the text and twitter information on how you can cast your vote. so please go ahead and text whichever code you would select for your response to and you can text that the 22333 or you can tweet your answer, and if you just tweeted to @ftistratcom, that will register as well. so go ahead and start your voting. and as you can see, the screen will respond accordingly. so the three responses you have to choose from are very important. there must be compromised, and the next four years, and there must be more than has been in the past. or do you think it's somewhat important, think you'll stay the same ended the u.s. will still overcome our challenges. or do you think it's not important, compromise is not necessary to deal with the current challenges facing the
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u.s. so you can see the votes are starting to coming. we can see a little bit of similar to a national poll, majority of americans would agree with you that compromise is very important. we have a minority of people saying it's somewhat important, and the smallest minority is not important at all. i think this room seems to reflect a lot of what our public opinion polls told us about the importance of compromise, and hopefully as our elected officials are gathering around the table in the next several weeks, they will bear this in mind. great, well, thanks for voting. i think we can move to the next poll question. which you can see here on the screen as well. so, this is thinking about what kind of a role the u.s. president should take in terms of more of a realistic, kind of short-term approach to facing our challenges, or a long-term visionary approach where the
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focus is on the future and where we are going. in the next 10 to 20 years. so when general, which are the following approaches governing do you think the u.s. presidential candidate should take? if we go to the next screen, you will see two options. similar to our poll question, should you as president take a practical approach in difficult times addressing near-term challenge is, or do you think a president should take a visionary approach focusing on long-term goals for our future and not losing that perspective of where we want to go to. once again, go ahead and text the 22333, the response code that you agree with, or you can tweak it to @ftistratcomm space, and then the code. it will be interesting to see if the response is here again match our public opinion poll where we found most americans preferring that obama take a visionary long-term approach, although a fair size minority, about 44%
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range felt that short-term obstacles would be important focus for our nation. so it looks like once again this is close to a national poll with 67% of our audience, both in the room and online voting for a visionary approach focusing on long-term goals for the future of the country, instead of a short-term perspective on the near-term objective. is i think would be another good thing for our elected officials to keep in mind as they face both budget and deficit issues as well as our long-term goals and investment in the future of the country. so thank you all for participating in -- and apologies again for technical difficulties. hope you now are armed with lots of questions for a great panel here, and i will turn it back over. thank you. >> thank you. let's take a couple of questions. we have a few minutes. there's a microphone. there's one right here.
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>> [inaudible] with george washington university. actually i have three short questions which i'll just let you all pick the one you want to answer. which is, one, i can't remove the last time i read the series particle article that mentioned the labor department. other than the numbers that are coming out today. so here we have really high unemployment for quite some time, and where is the labor department in the president's policy approach? and what should be? that's number one. number two is, could under in good decisions, federal system sticks attract macroeconomic policy, drive lots of things. what are the short-term improvements that could be made in the statistical system to help lead to better policy? and then the third question is
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should the u.s. have an explicit competitiveness strategy? emphasizing word explicit. we talk a lot about competitiveness. traditionally for over half a century we have a macroeconomic strategy. we have council economic adviser. with people like karen, people who have said competitiveness strategy has not been something that's been focus on, so should there be one? and if so, what should be in a? >> the want to start with the competitiveness question? [inaudible] >> i don't think we should have a competitive strategy because i don't think we are putting it together in implementing it. in a reasonable way. in a consistently. i think if we were able to put together we would have a change of administration in four years and the only kind of strategy. i think by definition, you know,
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that changes in strategy might be quite radical over 32 years. by definition really isn't a strategy. so i like the idea of a conceptually but it don't think practically our system is set up to i can accomplish it. >> on the labor department question, i think the one statistic that brings your point home for me is that the comprehensive employment and training act, for those of your member that, dick in 1979, it was the core of our economic, our labor market policy response to recession and slow growth. if we were funding it at the same level now as we did then at its peak in the last carter budget, i think it was, that program would be $25 billion. the workforce investment act,
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which is its grandson i think, grandchild, is funded at 4.6 going. so what happened in between was the workforce development strategy shifted from the labor department to the education department. i.e., the community colleges which could all -- which i'll get the attention on this now, so its human capital development policy that really in a white emphasizes skill development, not labor markets service which is i think what is lost when you keep the labor department out of this business. and in the end of although i think in the end it is wise. the one thing we've learned after 20 years of workforce development or training policy with that second chance system was in the end, it's really the first chance accounts. you see mainstream education system and training system, basically for your into your
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schools, now not-for-profit schools that really get doing that work. >> karen. >> i'll take data. i have a little bit of unfair advantage because i was at a dinner last night with andrew, and first lady came out, what i love that wasn't outstanding id which is we need better data on the return to different types of education, or different college degrees. 18-year-olds, thinking about where to invest or 35-year-olds can see what sorts of programs that will most benefit the. more generally, i guess three things about data, and one is we cannot cut the money for data more than we have. it's really bad, that sector has been under a lot of strain and we do need the data to be able to figure out what's going on in economy and to evaluate the options we have.
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you know, we need better measures of risk in the economy, particularly financial risk. my former life, when i set the federal reserve board, i think what, going into the financial crisis, if we had understood the risks that people were taking, the world would be a different place today. and three, you know, more disaggregated data out what's going on in different localiti localities, because i think one thing we will be seen in the next few years is different states piloting different programs to help the long-term unemployed. we need to be able -- what is good in what is bad to develop best practice. >> i would say that, at this point i think i should give full disclosure that my uncle was resident kennedy and johnson's secretary of labor, slavery deep family interest in the labor department and labor movement -- my hope and desire is that the
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political system, we have to force it back onto the political system. that both the work of organized labor and the part of american workers has been shifted towards the emphasis on job creators and employers. and i'd like to see a shift back more in line and then recognize an equal weight in creating economic growth and economic growth. it's not just employers biggest employers and the police but think of them incumbent, not a specific labor organization, to push this agenda and not leave it only up to organized labor, to be making these kind of arguments in the political system and were trying to take that on again. >> go ahead. >> yes. talking about entrepreneurialism were leaving the job in june in the economy, how d.c. health
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care policy factoring into that? there is a barrier right now, is a making progress? >> great question. >> it will be interesting to see, over the last 15 years we've seen dramatic declines in the rate of small companies that offer health care to it simply to small covers are actually dropping coverage. in fact, what we've seen is, is companies are organizing themselves around the idea of attracting the kind of employees who don't require coverage, people who have spousal coverage coming younger workers. so what we've seen is not employers dropping it, but as there's a turn and nature of the companies. but that distorts their market. they're looking for a particular kind of person, looking for part-time person, looking for -- and so, it's not anyway individuate allocating labor. so i think in that sense it truly is a problem but i think
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we go forward with health insurance changes over the next two or three years, it's really not clear honestly how that's going to shake out because there is a change in what employers have to do to employees, in terms of overly contributing. so the companies that are smaller than that, that actually should in terms of the labor market distortion, it should improve the situation because, because ideally everyone will have coverage, and they're not going to have to tailor their hiring practices are round of that. on the other hand, the 50 employee mark is potentially a real clef for many companies. and those companies that have the most jobs are the most rapidly growing companies, are they going to hit a wall at some point it will have a real effect? it's not clear yet. >> i think we have time for one
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or two more questions if anyone has any. >> very good panel. i'm a senior advisor. andrew mentioned the word competitiveness. what enterprises do to become more competitive and this is the time to become closer to the customer. and typically that means splitting the company up and having a strong leader in charge, but at what this is going to be in and holding on to the results. in the area of education, the most effective education is when it's very close to the labor market. where the customer is the employer and educators are continually asking employers, what kind of skills and knowledge they need to have to make this economy in this region go. typically that requires some kind of decentralization. but yet we're talking today about centralizing everything in
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trying to solve issues like that. where we now the best strategy for education is to be in an invite where the economy is growing. you look really good when there are jobs and education pipeline. so tell us some more about how that decentralization first decentralization think i could play out to improve the number of jobs in the country. >> welcome in the case of the relationship between education and labor markets, i think for efficiency sake, a gainful employment regime, which is something all three of us actually deal with all the time, which is the use of transcript data and wage records to tell people, and my bias is, it should be part of a mandatory
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course of high school and in college to get people financial literacy because they're about to make the biggest investment in their lives, and to tell them something about career paths. but you need to be able to say that a given program, not an institution because education institution and degree level will not matter anymore. that's the program that is the major, but we need to give students information before they choose to major in college, or try to get the certificate about what happened to everybody else who got that certificate, industry certification as well, and major, in terms of one, how employable they became come into, what the earnings were. because then if you want get fancy, you can tie your earnings to download which a gainful employment regulation for for-profit colleges does not. and then third, i think we can't figure out quite yet, it's not in the wage record data, issue need to get occupation because people to work in industries.
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they work in occupations. so i think that information has to be essentially nationally because of all the 30-35% of bachelor degrees or better work at a state where they didn't get their degree. so for certificates or awards, the local or state data works but, and there are risks, too. that pop agreements in place i think that among all 50 states to transfer data back and forth if they want. >> so i think you're decent position plan is an important one. but i think part of the solution, you know, it kills me every time you're a ceo say i, i can't find the workers, i need, that's why i am not hiring. because when we get a% or i guess 7.7% unemployment, it's like what the heck is going on? by don't doubt that is to pick i
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think part of the solution would be that we need some way to incentivize more, kind of corporate involvement with community colleges so that we don't hit these guys say that, that corporate are getting the message through, and what they need, you, people speed we will be putting out a proposal an intermediary that touches on some of this, which is a call to radically improve the internship model, that a lot of european countries, particularly in germany has been very successful in training their workforce. we'd like to push into areas that are really going into training, health care and health care i.t. it's an area which is growing in terms of job growth that has very low formalized training that can bring in a people into the workforce. and we are calling for a million apprenticeships next year.
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so that is the kind trying to find ways to manage directly what employers are looking for with the skill training set. >> that's great. thank you so much everyone. i think thanks to the panel. i think jocelyn will come up and give us a few more closing remarks. >> i everybody. that will be concluding our discussion this morning. wanted to thank you all for attending and for asking such great questions and voting in our poll. and also to our panelists, who have done a great job, having a dialogue here with us in engaging us in some really important issues facing our country. so thank you all again, and hope to see you at the next heartland monitor poll release. have a good day, thank you. [applause]
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>> [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> as this hearing, as this meeting comes to a close, the labor department this morning, employers added 126,000 jobs in november, and the unemployment
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rate fell to 7.7%. that is the lowest since december 2008. the government says hurricane sandy had only a minimal effect on the numbers. >> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays feature live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events. every weekend, the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and their schedules at our website. you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> singer-songwriter james taylor will be at the national press club here in washington today. ..
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words are key to our imagination, our capacity to envision things. we ourselves are not completely tied to the print on the page synthesis of writing, but i think that there is no other art form so readily accessible other than perhaps film, which we work with too. but, it is something -- there is something in literature that just captures the human spirit.
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>> obama administration is imposing sanctions on someone islamist groups until this top leaders. the state department and treasury blacklisted the movement for unity and jihad west africa today especially designated foreign terrorist group which freezes many assets members will have an u.s. jurisdiction, advanced business with them. that look now the situation in mali with the assistant secretary a man did dory testifying on the situation. this is about one hour and 45 minutes.
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>> i will be joined merriman terribly by my friend and ranking member, senator johnny isakson from georgia and we expect other senators to join but i thought it was timely for us to proceed. i'm grateful for the support of the committee and the hard work of my staff in making possible today the first time we will have a weight has testifying directly from a foreign country, which is the subject of the hearing and i hope that will contribute to an ongoing process and trying to expand the range and scope of the testimony included. today's focus is on mali and as we speak there are three simultaneous crises occurring in mali, the security, political and a humanitarian crisis. all three of which in my view threatens u.s. interest in africa and requires the attention of the u.s. government and the world and that is why we have convened this hearing today to assess developments in mali and discuss about four to
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restore democracy and reclaim the north and stabilize the security situation and to address ongoing issues. i would like to welcome my friend and partner in the subcommittee senator johnny isakson and i understand we may be well joined by others and to thank our distinguished witnesses who are sharing their insight and expertise. earlier this year a military coup deposed the democratically-elected government of mali in a rebellion, staked its claim on the northern two-thirds of this vast country. this left a security and political vacuum that was exploited by islamic extremist. as of today islamic maghreb commonly know as q. i m. two affiliated groups controlled a majority of northern mali in an area roughly the size of the u.s. state of texas make ying at the largest territory controlled by islamic extremists in the world. i am concerned that the current u.s. approach toward mali may not be comprehensive and forward-leaning enough to address all three of these difficult complex and interconnected crises, security
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and political. today we will examine u.s. policy in the three areas with the goal of providing recommendations forward. we will assess evolving plans were originally led multilateral military intervention in mali and consider the complementary goals encouraging elections and restoring security by reclaiming the north. the growing ties between extremist terrorist groups in mali nigeria, libya, somalia and beyond, there is growing concern aqim will leverage its new safe haven in mali to carry out training and advanced plans for regional and national terrorist attacks making mali in the words of secretary clinton a powder keg of instability in the region and beyond. u.n. security council will likely vote in the coming weeks on a resolution authorizing military intervention of the african union and similarly african led interventions for example in cóte d'ivoire and somalia that provided a model for multilateral and regionally led solution to allow the united states and their allies to provide operational support
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without putting boots on the ground. this intervention will take time and stability cannot be restored through it military action. the situation in mali is as much a crisis of governance as of security. the long-running grievances in the north and a political vacuum in the south must be addressed through diplomacy, rebuilding democratic institutions and the restoration of democratically-elected government. in addition any agreement that attempts to -- a client with aqim well require the government to do so. elections are the key to not only resolving and restoring now frozen u.s. bilateral assistance but also for reclaiming government control of the north and restoring the three decade long history of history. political and security challenges cannot be addressed as separate issues. the international committee must work to address the small to be crises simultaneously and consider the implications of moving forward with elections
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that might exclude participation such an election could be viewed as a somali victory for aqim and further entrench those who establish a permanent islamic state. in short this conflict has caused humanitarian as well as well as security as well as diplomatic challenges. there more than 400,000 people displaced in mali and has exacerbated an ongoing food crisis with more than 4.5 million people in need of emergency food. rampant human rights abuses in mali where they're adding to instability and challenges which include torture come executions, recruitment of child soldiers as well as violations of women's rights and children's rights and restrictions on fundamental freedoms such as speech and religion. to provide insight on a path forward we need to discuss the three strands end of the symbol to distinguish panels and first we will hear from assistant secretary of state for ambassador earl gast and deputy
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secretary of defense amanda dory on our second panel we would hear from regional director for west africa the national democratic institute doc there chris fomunyoh and senior researcher in and african division of human rights watch, and researcher niikwao akuetteh and vice president of the lobbing network for peace and security and development for northern mali mr. ahamed mahmoud who will be testifying by webcast in order to provide a first-hand per spec does. i look forward to hearing the testimony of oliver witness on the panels and turned to senator isaacson for his opening statement. >> thank you chairman coons and this hearing on what is a very important and impressive issue in west africa with blair hugh and i traveled the year and half ago in the area if nigeria. there are a lot of fledgling democracies and we saw what happened in cóte d'ivoire with a
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free democratic elections in the transition of power out of a difficult situation and obviously, our interest here today is to explore ways in which the united states can hopefully bring about free and fair elections in 2013 and return all of mali back to a democratically represented country as it has been for the last 20 years until the march in the spring initiative in the north which caused the current problems. the united states has played a significant role in african many areas where there were problems. sudan as you know is a better example where because of united states nonmilitary involvement in diplomatic involvement in special envoy involvement brought a process of free elections in the south and the creation of the newest independent state in the world, south sudan. the united states can play great role in that and support for us to understand the issues that affect the issues that affect that area and what we can do to help. on a personal note i also have
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had concern anytime the al qaeda takes advantage of the vacuum and flows into an area because of poverty or because of lack of governance. that is what has happened in the north. al qaeda and islamic are present into the extent we are presently don't know for sure and i'm anxious to hear from our witnesses to talk about that. that also is a point of concern for our people in the united states and our country so i commend you on calling the hearing and i look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses witnesses and i thank you all for testifying today. >> thank you so much senator. let's begin with their first panel. if we might assistant secretary carson. >> thank you mr. chairman for this opportunity to testify before you on this important subject. i also want to recognize the ranking member, senator isaacson, for his keen interest also in issues related to
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africa. mali's march 21, 2012 coup d'état ended two decades of democracy resulting in the loss of the northern mali to extremist groups and further destabilize an already fragile region. mali is now facing four distinct but overlapping challenges, restoring democracy, negotiating a political solution to the rebellion, countering the threat from al qaeda in the islamic maghreb and responding to an ongoing humanitarian crisis. mali, its regional partners in the international community must respond to each of these challenges simultaneously, without addressing each of these issues, mali will not be able to
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make a successful political or economic recovery. mali's first challenges the restoration of democratic governance. the framework agreement negotiated by akel loss with the junta following the march 21 coop mandates that mali's interim government must organize elections and put in place a legitimate democratically-elected government by april 2013. while the interim government has made progress in strengthening governments, preparation for elections are moving slowly. we continue to strongly encourage the interim government to set a date for election and elections and to develop a roadmap for the transition to a new democratically-elected government. the united states, along with the international community, stands ready to assist mali in
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conduct doing free, fair and transparent elections. the interim government should build on the preparations that were undertaken before the aborted april 2012 election and hold elections by april 2013 with as many voters as possible. the united states look forward to working with the interim government and the international community to examine the best mechanism to ensure that voters from all regions of mali, including those in refugee camps in neighboring countries, can participate in national elections. as mali moves through its current political transition, we have been clear and unequivocal in our messages to coup leader captain sunoco and the malian need for captain sunoco to leave the political stage and to be
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held accountable for human rights and uses committed while he was in control. we have imposed targeted travel sites on the captain and more than 60 other individuals were involved in the coup who continue with the restoration of democracy. the united states government has also formally terminated its assistance to the government of mali except for programs are critical humanitarian assistance and health care and u.n. security. we will maintain these kinds of pressures and tell mali transitions to a new democratically led government. elections and the restoration of mali's democratic institutions by 2013 are critical for ensuring that the malian government has the legitimacy and the credibility that it needs to negotiate with the
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northern population and to coordinate effectively with regional and international partners to defeat aqim. the ongoing rebellion in northern mali by the for a community is the second major factor contributing to mali's current political and security problems. the government must recognize and address the legitimate political and social economic grievances of the community. the united states commends the efforts of african leaders, including the president, who facilitates dialogue with the interim government that except mali's integrity and who rejects terrorism. we support the commitment of
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interim president open dialogue with those actors in the north, who respect mali's territorial integrity. we also welcome the news that representatives of the national movement for the liberation known sem and l.a. have retracted their declarations of independence of the north and the key figures in the m. and l.a. have declared their readiness to negotiate with the interim government. these political negotiations should be pursued diligently. mali's interim government must demonstrate its commitment to negotiations by appointing a lead negotiator for the north. the interim government also must find ways to effectively address legitimate northern grievances in a peaceful manner. the torre good are not
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terrorists and the grievances should be resolved peacefully and not through military actions. the participation of algeria and mauritania which are not members are also crucial in finding a lasting solution to the malian problem. later this week a delegation of u.s. officials, including deputy secretary of state william byrnes, will be traveling to algiers to encourage the algerians to play a more active role in addressing the political and security problems in northern mali. secretary clinton was in algeria to speak about that among other issues approximately a month ago. the third challenge in mali is terrorism. we are gravely concerned about the presence and activities of terrorists and extremist groups in northern mali.
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al qaeda in the islamic maghreb, the movement for jihad in west africa known as -- and others affiliated groups have exploited the political unrest created by the march coup in the northern rebellion to expand their safe haven in northern mali and to impose their ideology on unity throughout the northern part of the country. while these tactics remain alien to the vast majority of the population in affected areas, aqim and magellan have established temporary relationships with a number of groups in northern mali that apparently control the key cities of timbucktoo and -- any attempt to militarily oust aqim from northern mali must be
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african led and must be malian led. it must be well planned, well organized and well-resourced to be successful. military plans must also account for civilian security and humanitarian needs. we support the efforts of the interim government of mali, echo watts, the african union, the united nations, neighboring states and others in the international community to prepare a military response in accordance with international law to address the threats of terrorist and extremist in northern mali. the threat of military force has contributed we think to the change to some of the northern coups as witnessed by the recent willingness of them and l.a. and others to renounce their efforts
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to establish an independent state in northern mali. the military concept imposed and endorsed by the african union provides a foundation for planning a post-military intervention in northern mali. however, several key questions must be answered to ensure that this response is well planned, well-resourced and appropriate. these issues include among other things, the required force levels, the cost of funding, the logistical requirements, the operational timeliness, the protection of civilians and ensuring that the proposed military action is adequately linked to a political strategy and an end state for military operations and authority. we have sent military planners
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to assist with the community development and refinement of the plans for intervention. as the planning continues we expect many of the outstanding questions that i have raised, that we have raised as a government, will in fact be answered. we also continue to engage actively in new york with aqim and other international partners and preparation for the ongoing u.n. security council discussions on a resolution on military intervention in the north. as plans develop for the military operation, we will be better able to determine how the united states can best support echo watts and the developments in this effort. mali's neighbors have intensified their ongoing efforts to bolster their own security and to address the aqim safe haven in northern mali.
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algeria, mauritania, carl deeply concerned that any military intervention in northern mali can cause the spill over the extremist into their own countries. these government strongly favor exhausting all political dialogue before any intervention. we ourselves are assisting mauritania this year as well as some eight other states in the region through our counterterrorism partnership program. this program is designed to help build long-term capacity to counter and marginalized organizations, disrupt efforts to train extremists and to build the capacity of the states in the region. however, lasting resolution to the terrorist threat will
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require the countries to develop the capacity to counter aqim, along with other transnational threats by drug smuggling and human trafficking. the fourth crisis in the region is one of humanitarian proportions. the human toll of these challenges has been enormous. since the start of the fighting in northern mali, more than 410,000 people have become refugees or internally displaced. of these, nearly 200,000 people are displaced within mali alone. more than 200,000 malians have fled to mauritania and -- algeria also populations of refugees. and effort to mitigate the effects of a complex
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humanitarian crisis, we are providing humanitarian food, assistance to those displaced in the region. in 2012, the united states government provided some $445 billion in assistance to the sawtelle region. $119 million of which was in support of emergency use within mali and among refugee populations outside of mali. the humanitarian response should remain a civilian-led effort in order to ensure neutral and impartial character to the humanitarian operations. we have encouraged greater international cooperation in coordination in developing a comprehensive approach to mali's multiple crises. the u.n. secretary-general secretary-general's recent appointment of a special envoy
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will provide the needed facilitation and coordination. we will discuss the drafting of the secretary general's integrated strategy at a meeting in rome this friday. it is important that the next u.n. security council resolution be based in part on the u.n. secretary-general's recent report to the security council on mali and that the restoration of democracy, political negotiations with the toray and the humanitarian response received the same level of priority in its many discussions about military interventions against aqim. all four of these challenges must be met simultaneously. ecowas has an important role to play in assisting mali.
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five of these organizations 15 member states share borders with mali. although they are not ecowas members, algeria and mauritania share borders with mali and have made important contributions to make. in closing, dressing these four overlapping challenges will require comprehensive, sustained and dedicated regional and international support and engagement. wayne washington are supporting inclusive dialogue and negotiations to address the economic and social needs of the marginalized populations in the north, especially toray. we support the unification of malian territory both through negotiations with mali and to support the executive state through well planned and
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well-resourced african led military actions to dislodge the terrorist. we will also continue to address the humanitarian crisis in the sahel region as well. mr. chairman nye have a much longer statement, which i have submitted to you for the record, but again thank you for this opportunity to testify and thank you mr. chairman and senator isaacson for your keen interest in this. thank you. [inaudible] >> i was just saying thank you to assistant secretary carson for your service and your very active and effective engagement in the region over such a long period. we are always grateful to have your testimony and next we turn
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to assistant administrator for africa, earl gast. good morning chairman pence and ranking member isaacson. thank you for inviting me to speak over today. i've submitted a longer statement that i longer statement that i thought i would use my time to briefly give an update on the current situation and how it has affected our development programming as well as outline some of the key factors that are needed for development to progress. the u.n. reports that 4.6 million persons in mali are affected by food insecurity in need of assistance. they're recovering from last year's food shock, high prices and the conflict and displacement. nearly 200,000 malians have been displaced within the country and another 210,000 have fled to neighboring countries. in the north international and local humanitarian actors are able to provide assistance to many places however access still remains negotiated on a case-by-case aces and it is often very inconsistent. moving forward the necessary component for solving mali's
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crises of the establishment of a democratically-elected government by april 2013 as called for. the government of mali must pursue preparations for elections and at the same time it resolves the crisis in the north. to do this successfully a legitimate process is needed to maximize populations that have been displaced by the violence. is also necessary to develop revisions for how the north will be meaningfully included in a new government and to engage the broader malian population in dialogue about national reconciliation. prior to the coup, the broad development portfolio included activities to strengthen democratic institutions, grow the agricultural sector, support literacy and education, improve community health and health assistance and manage instability and threats in the north. mali has made significant gains in these areas.
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annual economic growth averaged more than 5% across the past decade. reducing the incidence of poverty from 56%, to 44% by 2010. that was over a period of about 10 years. mali liberalized its cereal markets and opened up trade routes and improve conditions between business. what we have seen is that agricultural production has increased particularly in areas where usaid support has been active. as result of the march 2012 coup in mali, u.s. government formally terminated assistance to the government of mali however support to address the emergency health, nutrition and food needs of the malian people continue. in evaluating which programs can move forward in light of the applicable legal restrictions, we consider whether they provide essential lifesaving assistance or that they support children, strength and food security or defense u.s. foreign-policy.
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we also consider operational issues, including efficient management and oversight. this case-by-case analysis ensures there is careful consideration of the context surrounding a proposed activity. before the coup usaid was the largest supporting elections in mali. training poll workers and include elections monitoring systems, strengthening political parties and providing further education. win the electoral support activities resume, provided the consent of congress, assistance will help support a foundation for free and fair elections in mali and a peaceful political exit from the current situation. ..
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strengthen market linkages and increased resilience. some health sector activities have been approved to continue including programs aimed at preventing maternal and child mortality. through the provision of basic services, support of malaria testing and treatment and other critically community-based health interventions. our approach to development programming is affected by the current political and security situation and how it develops. usa office of transition initiatives conducted an assessment to determine the feasibility and appropriateness of a transition program.
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if initiated this would allow the government to respond to any opportunities and challenges that arise in the course of the transition. particularly in the areas of peace, security and reconciliation. the ability of the united states to resume full assistance will depend on a democratically elected government taking office. usa continues to monitor two current humanitarian needs and plan for possible future needs and mali. since the crisis in april, usaid has provided nearly $80 million to address humanitarian needs among malians affected by drought and conflict. the harvest projections are positive for the coming year. the most vulnerable will continue to need additional assistance for recovery and resilience to future shocks. in the north we continue to spend to means when and where access allows. while usa can provide immediate relief to the people, help set the foundation for space
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elections, and provide basic services in the interim, mali's future development must be led by the malian people that can only be achieved through a participatory government against the background of peace and stability. accordingly it is critical that the government of mali and the malian people be encouraged to pursue a simultaneous and multi pronged approach to their return to democracy, accountability had negotiated peace. none of these will be sustainable in the absence of the other. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and i welcome any questions you might have. >> thank you, administrator. amanda dory from the department of defense. >> ranking member isaacson, i add my thanks for the opportunity to speak of the overlapping challenges and mali and the region this morning and how the department of defense fits into the broad picture of how the u.s. government is
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addressing the situation. the department of defense is extremely concerned about instability in mali and is working closely with our interagency partners to strengthen efforts countering aqim and affiliates as well as supporting malian efforts to restore its territorial sovereignty. our purchased to support the neighbors to isolate the terrorist threat and enable others to degrade aqim while working to restore malian sovereignty. this approach is consistent with section 7,003 of the fiscal 12th state appropriations act, which prescribes certain assistance to the government of any country who is duly elected government is deposed by a military coup. as a result of the coup in mali, they seized the capacity building efforts with the malian military. since january, 2012, number primarily groups have waged a really been proven by longstanding political and economic grievances. this rebellion is the fourth
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since mali gained independence in 1960 and although not caused by instability in libya, the flows of militants and weapons have strengthened the rebellion and have made it more difficult for the malian authorities to come back this time. in late march the president was overthrown by forces who then installed the government. in response, the imposed sanctions as did the united states and others. if brokered an agreement with the party to establish an interim government and as the captain continues to influence the decision making as the head of the military reform committee , they've become a safe haven for extremist and terrorist groups including aqim and affiliates. as the government lost control of its northern territory, the groups took over the administration of the northern cities and began imposing a harsh version of sharia law. this expanded safe haven and control of territory allows al
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qaeda and affiliate's to recruit supporters more easily and export extremism. there's greater control over the trafficking networks that provide an important element of funding. beyond the obvious threat to the citizens and its neighbors, the growing presence also threatens u.s. citizens in the region and concluded the ability to attack embassies and kidnapping operations. although aqim hasn't demonstrated an ability to attack targets in the u.s. homeland it has a history of attacks in monrad and expressed content to target europe. the u.s. approach focused on restoring space governance and security in mali. this will require space elections, a political settlement of legitimate number grievances, restoration of the sovereignty, focused pressure and continuing the civilian let
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response to the humanitarian situation. the department of defense is working with african partners to enable them to conduct military planning for an african led international military force. this is very much an african lead process. our efforts are aimed at making partners more capable, adding the terrorist threat and their territories and it provides better security for their people more generally. this means the situation in mali also poses a risk to the surrounding governments in the region. the trend sahara counterterrorism partnership was an agency mechanism for coordinating the government's capability effort to enable the government to counter aqim. the department of defense, department, u.s. aid to the tuesday 67 and others working to ensure unity of effort with the ten participating partners which include mali and its neighbors.
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with the support of other partners we're planning for a military intervention in northern mali in tandem with the african unions were caught country inns of strategic concept for the resolution of the crisis in mali. department of defense through u.s. africa command is actively supporting the military planning effort through the provision of planning expertise. the broad strategic concept for that deployment is sound. more specific planning is underway to address the myriad of operation details. the u.s. government is exploring options for supporting the countries that contribute forces to the equal loss mission and this could include the training and equipment to the countries that would contribute forces to deploy as far as the international military force. and additional planning and advisory support. i will look forward to your questions. thank you. >> thank you deputy secretary to read and grateful to the panel and for the opportunity to explore further this complex and
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very challenging situation. if i might first on the question just sort of sequencing all three of you have spoken to the interrelated and complex challenges on the path towards restoring democracy dealing with humanitarian issues henderson historic grievances in the north and resolving security concerns in the north. and in fact, secretary carson i think use in your testimony the response to any one of the challenges must not be dependent upon the issues that of other. and yet they seem inextricably intertwined for reasons of our own law which i support. we have seized the aid of and we've cut off a lot of vital aid that will then make it more difficult in some ways the account of the security objectives. please call if you would, in turn just explain how you see the sequencing of defense, elections addressing regional and historic grievances in the north, restoration of basic
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himeno terrie in support and regional planning and execution under an equal effort how did they move forward and is it possible to move forward on a resolution of an election? >> mr. chairman, we have said that these challenges must be handled simultaneously in parallel. they must all be considered critical, and they all must be considered important. as in some of these challenges along one lane would move faster than along another but we shouldn't hold any one of these
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programs or efforts or streams of activity hostage to the success or the depletion of another. for example we have to move forward and continue to provide humanitarian service and assistance to the north to the displaced populations to the extent that we have access through the ngos and the international community and we are doing that. we are continuing to push as hard as we can for political negotiations between the groups and the non-terrorist groups in the north we are moving forward with the discussions about the
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military planning and preparation and primarily on the democracy front we do think that it's absolutely critical that the government not lose sight in putting a strategy, a road map and a timetable for the return to democracy in that country i mentioned this last because in many ways it is critically important there will be successful political negotiations with the covered number groups who have political and social economic grievances. they have to have a legitimate government that they can rely on to fulfill these agreements this
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has been a failure in the past, the negotiations and the deals have been made with the others and the government has reneged on them. there needs to be a credible code to be sure that these things are going to be done equally while we move ahead in the international community on an african lead response to the terrorist problem in the north against aqim in the end even if the is terrorist groups are pushed out and eliminated there will need to be a credible government capable of extending services and providing security and authority over the areas
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that are recaptured from the north there is a central body and all this. there needs to be a credible government to be able to deliver humanitarian response and to build up resilience in the food shortages. all in parallel simultaneously one we shouldn't move towards the continued democracy hostage to the military operations we shouldn't hold military operations and planning hostage to the completion of the restoration of democracy but we must keep all four of these things clearly as objectives and goals moving simultaneously towards them. >> what is focused on the questions. to have a government that is credible in terms of negotiating some resolution to the historic grievances that have led to the
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rebellions calcutta was it to have the northern participation in the election, and how is it possible to have meaningful northern participation in the election with 400,000 refugees, and with a very unstable security situation in the north? these to steam extricable intertwined and difficult. if you could just briefly on the question how do you include northern for participation? >> it can be done and it can be done in 2012. the two in march occurred approximately six weeks before the national elections were to be held. they would have been difficult elections in the north but they could have in fact occurred. it's important to remember both a little bit about the geography as well as the population
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distribution. although some 55% of the north has been taken over by the rebellious groups only 10%, only 10 percent of the population lives in the northern part of the country we also realize it is important not to exclude the north, but to include the north. it is possible to accommodate many of the northerners and we estimate somewhere in the neighborhood of the 800,000 to a
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million people are residing in the north we think that we probably resided in the north 200,000 disbursed to the south if there were elections, they could be held in in the mauritanians refugee camp supervised by the unhcr assistance. this has happened before in
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other places. and those who are in the south as displaced persons could also be identified so that they could vote. it's not ideal and in fact it could occur. historically, the north has voted in a smaller percentage of the population than any of the others and we estimate that in a nasty legal last national elections accounted for a very small percentage of the national turnout. the north must be included because we believe that aside from the aqim threat, there is a legitimate concern that people in the north have not benefited
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the way people in a self have from education, from health care infrastructure so they must be accommodated because this is important. but we don't think the movement towards the restoration of democracy should be held hostage to a complete military victory in the north. that is a date that is on certain and we may not know it. there was tremendous instability across the north during the last national elections as well. >> i'm going to turn to senator isaacson. >> thank you mr. chairman and ms. dory for your testimony today i have a question i understand may be secure i need to understand the the the receive in the area which i would be happy to do so but in your statement, use a aqim
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maintains the ability to maintain other western interests and to attack or kidnapped westerners in the region. given what happened in benghazi diaz evidence it happened in al qaeda and the not read that it was the attack on the u.s. consulate and ultimately the death of chris stevens? >> i think we can say that aqim played a role in the investigations are still under way precisely how aqim members interacted with others in the closed session. >> we will try to arrange that. >> on that same point, you acknowledged that the u.s. africa command is coordinating with equal loss while making planning for an intervention in the north. i guess that should be said of potential intervention in the north; is that correct?
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>> it is correct to say that the intervention is in the planning phases at this point. the intervention would be involved by the armed forces with support from the international military force. there is no contract or intention of having the u.s. boots on the ground type of support to that intervention. but at this point, we are fighting the planning support exclusively, and we will look at opportunities to provide training and equipping support to the partners with whom we can engage. >> in a statement it says we understand the mission and in the north will have the will objectives of restoring the national sovereignty and countering an al qaeda and its affiliates. i understand the sovereignty goal on encountering al qaeda you are talking about a significant, potentially significant military intervention. do you think that people that you are planning to train are going to be sufficiently capable of taking on a force like al qaeda for them to succeed is a
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combination of training, equipping and will come and i believe the countries in the region are demonstrating the well and the intend to intervene. they are certainly capable to do some of the related missions and the equipping is required that is the role of the international community to provide that support. >> thank you very much. ambassador carson, thank you for your tireless efforts on behalf of the african people in the united states interest in africa, and i appreciate the great job that you do. on the question was raised by senator coons regarding the buddy elections and your statement that is absolutely essential that the north be included in those i think that's what you said and i agree with that. we have a recommendation i haven't talked about this but i think i'm right that all of the nigerian elections when jonathan was elected.
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he overcame some of our obstacles of violence and it was in the north where they had their problems with nigeria. so i just wanted to throw that out as a possible. mr. gast, we have a bunch of people hungry because we have a salmon particularly on the north. and since then we have been disrupted for being able to get humanitarian aid to the people in the mali? >> initially, senator, i would say that that is the case. there is a period note humanitarian assistance was being delivered. since then, since the early months, our partners who are operating in the north had been able to negotiate access. for the most part the population and need, their needs are being met. and so, in addition to the displaced persons for the
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refugees or internally displaced persons as far as those stores still residing in the north of their needs are being met. islamic can cause a refugee problem in the country's? >> have there been people that have left mali because of the disruption? >> yes. roughly two entered 10,000 persons. >> where has that gone? >> the majority have gone into mauritania and niger. >> is usaid assisting in the camps to get humanitarian services? >> we are primarily. i'm sorry, that's the state department. the population refugee and migration bureau. more acronyms than anybody i've ever heard. we are going to have to learn that. >> ambassador carson, the goal is to have elections in april;
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is that right? >> yes, sir. by april or as soon as it is technically feasible. i just ask this question is not really a specific question that if you have a 20 year successful democracy which mali was and then you have to there is the need to be overcome from an election. do you know what led to the deterioration of the democracy that caused the coo? >> the proximate cause was the series of military defeat not occurred in the north. these were military defeats at the hands of the tory.
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the military felt free strongly that it was under resource to, that it wasn't being given the kind of equipment and material support that it required to go after the rebels and to fight a successful military campaign. of course they were fighting because they felt that the government had not fulfilled its obligations under the last agreement signed in 2006. this combined with growing discontent among some elite in
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the south with of the corruption of the outgoing government under the former president were probably the precipitating reasons for the today talk -- today taha. of the elite disaffection in the south with corruption and governments and delivery of services. >> so come africa's biggest developmental problem with which is corruption is well in mali, is the right? >> indy 500i think that the former president towards the end of his administration was not resolving and he wasn't
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responding effectively to the crises in his own country. i think that he probably had begun to turn out to focus sufficiently on the economic and social issues in the south and had neglected deeply the issues throughout the north. his leadership was starting to slide his interest and he wasn't doing a very effective job. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> senator isaacson we will go to a second round of questions. first, if i might to the assistant secretary dory. what is the feasibility of plans to train and restructure a force of 5,000 malian armed forces as was referenced by the assistant
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secretary that the sort of a proximate cause of the coup in many ways was a series of military defeat and the capacity of the armed forces is a sort of a critical last step what is the feasibility under what timeline is it possible to stand up in the security and if elections were held what kind of role might be prepared to play directly in terms of training and supporting and equipping the forces rather than through the regional. >> in terms of feasibility, i think that is the key dimension in the planning process, which is at what point do your missions a line with your proposed concept maneuver and alignment with the generation process, and you don't -- you don't engage until you have assessed the feasibility and the situation of moderate risk is accessible to the force on the

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U.S. Senate
CSPAN December 7, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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